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Jai Gangaajal  : Drowns Itself
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Friday, March 4, 2016
Prakash Jha
Priyanka Chopra, Prakash Jha, Rahul Bhatt, Manav Kaul

After a kickass Quantico followed by her proud moment at the Oscars, Priyanka Chopra opts for the ridiculous with a film that’s an unabashed attempt to launch the filmmaker himself as an actor. Karan Johar fell flat in Bombay Velvet, Prakash Jha follows suit with Jai Gangaajal.


The Home Minister, local MLAs, their kin and the cops are all a part of the land mafia of Bankipur district that’s taken the lives of several helpless farmers. When the influential minister posts upright Abha Mathur as SP there ostensibly to take care of his interests, his complacence is busted. You’d think Abha Mathur would checkmate MLA Bablu Panday and his gang of goons. But no, it's Prakash Jha playing corrupt policeman BN Singh who does it all, reducing our Quantico girl to a side player.


While Abha Mathur goes missing through most of the film, Jha gives himself a role where he plays a wicked cop whose khaki-vardi conscience awakens rather inexplicably. Jha hands himself all the fight scenes with the Panday brigade, plays the sympathetic cop who shields a child from Bablu Panday’s wrath and crowns himself as the ultimate avenger. He’s even got a loud background score to chuff him up in the many fight scenes.


Strewn with suicides, murders, false cases, rapes and humiliation of the poor, Jai Gangaajal is a lengthy mess with no redemption.


Can Prakash Jha carry a complete film as an actor? He may have been impressive in a short cameo but casting himself in the main role is the undoing of the film. He’s so much in love with himself as an actor that he seems to have hardly looked at a workable screenplay and in the bargain demolishes the Gangaajal franchise.


Manav Kaul, Ninad Kamath and Murli Sharma as the land mafia do their jobs as required. Priyanka with too much pancake makes a valiant attempt at sincerity but gets little chance for any heroics with Prakash Jha hogging all the footage.


For a film that doesn’t deserve a crisp salute, Jai Gangaajal gets a 1.5* rating. 


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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